Main content area

A laboratory-scale device for the straightforward production of uniform, small sized cell microcapsules with long-term cell viability

Kontturi, Leena-Stiina, Yliperttula, Marjo, Toivanen, Pyry, Määttä, Antti, Määttä, Ann-Marie, Urtti, Arto
Journal of controlled release 2011 v.152 no.3 pp. 376-381
cell viability, epithelial cells, in vivo studies, microencapsulation, prices, proteins, vascular endothelial growth factor receptor-1
Microencapsulated and genetically engineered cells may be used for prolonged delivery of therapeutically active proteins. The objective of this study was to develop a simple, inexpensive and flexible laboratory-scale device for the production of cell microcapsules, especially capsules of small diameter (<300μm). Many microencapsulation devices are expensive, difficult to assemble and to use, and often more suitable for large-scale experiments. However, the simplicity and low price of the encapsulation system should not limit the quality of capsules and reproducibility of the process: for successful in vitro and in vivo experiments it is important to be able to produce uniform, spherical microcapsules without deformities with high reproducibility. In addition, an advantage of the present procedure compared to other similar, co-axial laminar gas flow systems is the possibility to produce also small microcapsules, less than 200μm in diameter, with narrow size distribution. First, design, optimization and reproducibility testing of this custom-built device were carried out. Second, microencapsulated retinal pigment epithelial cells (ARPE-19) capable of secreting soluble vascular endothelial growth factor receptor 1 (sVEGFR1) were engineered. The cells remained viable in alginate-poly-L-lysine-alginate microcapsules and secreted sVEGFR1 for prolonged periods.